August 1, 2020
Sandra
Yeung Racco
WARD 4 COUNCILLOR
The City of Vaughan’s first-ever virtual Public Information Session took place on Thursday, July 9 about the Carrville Community Centre, Library and District Park. Design elements and project updates were shared. Citizens can still join the conversation by viewing the presentation online and participating in an online survey that will collect high-level feedback on the preliminary designs of the community centre, library and district park, potential travel patterns to the new facilities, preferred activities, thoughts on sustainability features and more. This survey will take approximately four minutes to complete and it will be available until Monday, August 31 .

Visit https://vaughan.ca/CarrvilleCC for more information and to take the survey.
The City of Vaughan is committed to continuing to deliver cycling and pedestrian options to support safe and convenient travel around the city.
In May 2020, city staff advised of the planned pedestrian crossover (PXO) at the intersection of Valley Vista Drive and Southdown Avenue. The design work for this PXO is complete and the contract to undertake the construction work has now been awarded.

The construction activities to implement the pedestrian crossover are scheduled to commence in late July/early August with anticipated completion by the end of August 2020. All roads will remain open to traffic during construction. Temporary lane restrictions will be required at times to allow construction to be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner.

Click here to view the construction notice and to learn more about pedestrian crossovers.
The City of Vaughan is undertaking a study to develop the Vaughan Mills Centre Public Realm and Streetscape Plan, which will serve as a comprehensive guide to promote high-quality public spaces and streetscape development around Vaughan Mills mall. Join the conversation – what does your ideal space look like? How do you get to and from Vaughan Mills Mall? What would improve your experience visiting this area? View the presentation , read more about the study and take the online survey. Visit here for more informantion and to help shape the future of the Vaughan Mills Centre. The survey will be available until August 14, 2020 .
Where should an off-leash dog area be? What features should it have? How should it be maintained?

To clearly understand and respond to the needs of residents, the City of Vaughan is continuing to develop its Local Off-Leash Dog Area Strategy and identify locations throughout the community to pilot local spaces for pets to roam leash-free. Because public engagement is vital to the development of this strategy, the City invites citizens to join the conversation – virtually. An online workshop is now available online until Monday, August 31 .
The City of Vaughan is hiring crossing guards for the 2020/21 school year. School crossing guards are an important part of the community. These dedicated individuals work every school day to help protect and assist children walking across the streets of Vaughan. To apply to become a crossing guard, send your resumé to Human Resources at careers@vaughan.ca with “Crossing Guard” in the subject line. Visit here for more information.
Vaughan continues to take a disciplined, responsible and measured approach to reopening the city. As some restrictions are lifted, other precautionary measures remain in place to protect everyone in the community from further transmission of COVID-19.

Essential services remain intact, including fire and emergency response, waste collection, water/wastewater services, by-law and enforcement services, and the Access Vaughan contact centre at 905-832-2281.

Many City services continue to be offered online or via telephone. For questions, contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or visit vaughan.ca or vaughanpl.info . Please check here the latest updates, including modified services and recent cancellations. Below is an update on ongoing services, what is reopening, and programs that continue to be impacted by the virus:
What’s open?
The following services continue to operate without disruptions:
Playgrounds join the growing list of amenities that have reopened. Residents are reminded that playgrounds are not supervised or sanitized and require everyone to take precautions – maintain physical distancing and ensure hands are washed before and after use. Learn more .
Citizens are encouraged to take advantage of the services and resources that continue to be offered online - including Service Vaughan, an online reporting tool that enables individuals to submit a service request, report on non-emergency City services and track their submission 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
 
Residents can access the tool by clicking here . Currently, the platform supports requests on six City services, including:
  • debris, vandalism and graffiti
  • garbage and recycling
  • parks, trees and grass
  • roads and sidewalks
  • signs and streetlights
  • water services
The City of Vaughan continues to work closely with all levels of government to monitor the situation and to ensure people remain safe. As a result, the decision has been made to extend the closure of all City facilities to the public until further notice to help break the chain of transmission.

What’s Closed?  
The following City facility closures and program cancellations are currently in effect:
  • Vaughan City Hall
  • Joint Operations Centre
  • All community centre and library branches
  • All community centre permits/rentals, recreational and library programming, swimming pools, arenas and fitness facilities
  • Vaughan Animal Shelter - For adoption information or other animal inquiries, contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281
  • City Playhouse Theatre
  • Tours at Fire Stations
  • All City run events until further notice
When using reopened amenities, residents must stay at least two metres (approximately six feet) away from others who do not live in their home, avoid congregating in groups of more than 10 people and not share play equipment such as tennis balls and rackets.

All park violations can be reported to Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or via email to accessvaughan@vaughan.ca . Reports of this nature will be referred to the City's By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services department for investigation. Fines in the amount of $105 to $400 under the Parks By-law and $500 to $100,000 under the Emergency Measures By-law may be laid.  
This summer, residents may be seeing an unusually high number of Gypsy Moths and Tent Caterpillars throughout the community. As a result of weather conditions from the winter and spring, southern Ontario is experiencing a peak point in the population cycles of these insects. They are naturally occurring forest pests, which are not unique to Vaughan and present no harm to healthy trees. For additional tips on how to treat caterpillars on your property, visit here .
This summer, residents may be seeing Japanese beetles throughout the community. These insects are an invasive plant pest commonly found on trees, shrubs and in gardens. They are destructive both as adults and larvae. Adult beetles are heavy feeders and eat the tender tissue between the veins of the leaves of plants, leaving behind brown, skeletal remains. The City of Vaughan is not treating for Japanese beetles at this time as they are generally not fatal to plants or turf and are not classified as forest pests. Homeowners can view tips on how to treat Japanese beetles on their properties.
All Economic and Cultural Development initiatives, forms, assistance is now available at vaughanbusiness.ca. During the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the City of Vaughan remains committed to working with all levels of government to stand up for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and to maintain the competitiveness of the local economy.

Virtual programs and new services are being offered to further support local businesses, including:
  • the new Digital Boost Vaughan Small Business Resiliency Program, which provides free training and mentorship to help local businesses adapt to the changing environment.
  • the Open for Business online directory, which lists essential services and businesses that remain open. Vaughan businesses can apply through this online form to be included in the initiative led by By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services.
  • Economic and Cultural Development services such as virtual consulting, #ShopVaughanLocal campaign and the newly launched Vaughan Business website.
  • COVID-19 business support resources available online.
  • visitvaughan.ca – a new visitor website that offers an exploration of all there is to see and do in Vaughan. The “explore online now, visit later” platform, developed in partnership with the Tourism Vaughan Corporation and Central Counties Tourism, offers interactive content, including museum tours, cooking lessons, educational webinars, roller-coaster rides and more.
Please be advised that Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), is undertaking
the Redelmeier Pond Restoration Project to restore the former pond area to natural valley- land. In the late 1800s, a pond was created by damming the creek for the purpose of building a
mill. The dam deteriorated over time and TRCA is now restoring the creek to its normal function. This restoration project will mitigate flood risk to the public, property and infra-structure, while also creating a naturalized area that will enhance habitat for fish and wildlife, including an endangered species of fish, redside dace.

Construction commenced in June 2020 and is anticipated to be completed in August 2020. Native tree and shrub plantings will follow in the Fall, to be completed by November 2020. View the information sheet here .
The City of Vaughan is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Order of Vaughan – the highest honour the City may bestow on individuals who exemplify extraordinary citizenship. In addition to recognizing the individuals who are bettering the city of Vaughan, the 2020 award is also an opportunity to highlight the remarkable individuals who are stepping up to help citizens, businesses and the community during the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized, nominate them for consideration by September 30. Download the nomination form here . More information available here .
The City of Vaughan uses contractors for many of our Summer Maintenance Programs. This year, due to COVID-19, some maintenance services are delayed or on hold. These are updates on some programs:

Boulevard Maintenance - ON TIME
The start of this program begins with boulevards litter being picked up prior to the cutting rotation and continues every 2 weeks. There are 14 rotations scheduled throughout this season and the summer months may have longer rotations due to the slow growth of grass during drought conditions. The City of Vaughan is working with York Region to try to have Regional road boulevards on a similar rotation to City roads.

Storm Water Management Ponds - ON TIME
These areas are cut twice yearly for access purposes - a 10 foot mow strip, which is rough cut only in May/June and September. These ponds are not string trimmed along fence lines or manicured as they serve a purpose in maintaining storm water and require a natural habitat.

Street Sweeping - ON TIME
The City’s street-sweeping program began in late March due to good weather. After this initial spring cleaning, street sweeping continues throughout the summer and into the fall on 20-24 day rotation.

Boulevard Tree Maintenance - DELAYED
The City of Vaughan uses a block pruning rotation to prune trees on entire streets. This includes but is not limited to: removing low hanging limbs, suckers, deadwood, and limbs growing towards houses of all trees on a street. The Block Pruning rotation allows staff to consistently and efficiently maintain safe clearances above roads (approximately 4.5 meters) and sidewalks (approximately 2.5 meters). Street pruning is contracted out to private tree companies.

Currently, regular tree inspections will continue but only hazardous maintenance will be performed on a priority basis. Regular tree maintenance will be suspended until further notice, with stumping and pruning expected to start in early July and planting deferred until September.

Parks and Splashpads - NOW OPEN
A number of park amenities, including playgrounds and splashpads are now open. Splashpads are open extended hours Monday to Sunday 9:00am - 9:00pm until further notice. S plashpads and playgrounds are not supervised and require everyone to take precautions – maintain physical distancing and ensure hands are sanitized before and after use.

Horticultural Plantings and Baskets - DELAYED
Shrub beds and planting bed maintenance are operating at reduced service levels. All annual plantings, planters and hanging baskets will be phased in as suspensions start to lift.

For more information about Vaughan's Summer Maintenance Program...
The Summer Maintenance Program is serviced by the City's Public Works Department. Click  here  for more information about the department.
All City-led events have been postponed until further notice. The following events are cancelled or being held virtually: 

Hosted by Smart Commute
Tips for Everyday Biking  
Wednesday, August 5
12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
Stay Active by Walking 
Wednesday, August 12
12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Volunteer Recognition
Awards Ceremony
Postponed to
Wednesday, November 25

Please check the  Events  page for the latest updates about non-City event cancellations.
For a list of Business Support Webinars and events across York Region, visit our Vaughan Business website .
The Trade Accelerator Program is coming to York Region! The ability to export is an important tool for small-to-medium-sized enterprises to build their operations. However, many companies in Vaughan often lack the necessary resources and information to allow them to access foreign markets. The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) is an innovative program designed to help companies gain knowledge and contacts to navigate and access these markets. Through a series of in-depth workshop sessions with trade and industry experts, businesses in Vaughan can learn to overcome export barriers and reach new markets faster. 

The 2020 TAP Vaughan Cohort will be offered digitally and will run from October 27 to December 18, 2020. Companies can apply directly or be nominated to participate.
The City of Vaughan is ready to start welcoming Vaughan Fitness members back as of Monday, Aug. 10 on a limited basis. In response to COVID-19, strict measures will be in place to protect all users and staff from this virus. Fitness centres will have controlled access, limited capacity and scheduled time blocks for patrons to sign up for in advance. Workout blocks will be 75 minutes each, with a 30-minute shutdown in between appointments for cleaning and sanitation. Members can register online at vaughan.ca/RecOnline . For more information or to obtain a registration barcode and PIN, please contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281. Learn more .
Extreme heat affects everyone. The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors. To help beat the heat this summer, the City of Vaughan recommends the following tips: 
  1. Stay indoors on a lower floor in your home if possible and out of the sun as much as you can
  2. Close blinds and curtains during the hottest times of the day
  3. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol
  4. Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured and lightweight clothing
  5. Take cool showers or baths
  6. Prepare meals that do not require cooking
  7. Avoid using large appliances such as stoves, ovens and dryers
  8. Check in on elderly family members by phone or video call
  9. Avoid exercising during the warmest parts of the day
  10. Do not leave pets or children in hot cars

As part of the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most facilities, including community centres and swimming pools, continue to remain closed to the public to help prevent the spread of the virus. Splash pads are not supervised and require everyone to take precautions – maintain physical distancing and ensure hands are sanitized before and after use.
All in-house programming from VPL is cancelled until January 2021. VPL branches are now accepting returns on previously borrowed items fine free to September 8. All returned materials will be isolated for 72 hours prior to check in, so please be aware that items will not be removed from accounts quickly.
Temporary library cards are now available and can be obtained by filling in an online form. Click here for more information.

VPL is the first public library system in Ontario to offer curbside pickup. This service will allow patrons to borrow any item currently on the shelf at the pickup location and represents a significant expansion of VPL’s services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information on the curbside pickup service, as well as the request form, is available at here .

VPL has launched an online service to support its customers remotely. Ask Us is a virtual service supported by more than 20 VPL staff who are able to help with customer inquiries and offer reading and viewing suggestions by phone, email and social media.There are three ways to Ask Us:
  • By phone at 905-653-READ (7323)
  • On Twitter, Facebook Messenger or Instagram
  • By email through an online form 

Citizens are encouraged to explore VPL's  digital service offerings , including eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies and more. Online programming is being offered through Instagram and Facebook . Activities include live-streamed story times, online book clubs and activity videos for kids.

Lynda.com  gives users free access to thousands of video tutorial courses with a focus on such areas as technology, software development, business skills, project management as well as creative skills like animation and video editing. Also available is Transparent Language – a fun and engaging way to learn a new language. The app aims to lock words and phrases into your memory so you can recall them perfectly. French offerings are available through  Cantook Station , customers have access to the nearly 7,000 eBooks in this collection and 39 audiobooks.
Y ork Region Public Health is encouraging citizens to do the following:
  • Be familiar with and follow travel advice before and after you return from international travel
  • Practice social distancing, which means:
  • Work from home where possible
  • Maintain at least two metres (six feet) of space between you and others (outside of your immediate family)
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community
  • Limit, postpone or cancel gatherings
  • Keep kids away from group settings
  • Avoid visits to long-term care homes and other care settings (unless you are essential)

Practice good infection prevention and control, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces, such as toilets, faucet handles, doorknobs, countertops, etc., using regular household cleaners
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes, cutlery, drinks/water bottles and towels
 
Those who feel unwell and believe they have symptoms related to COVID-19 should contact York Region Public Health or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.  For additional information on COVID-19, visit York Region's website.
Have your say and provide the City of Vaughan with valuable citizen input that helps contribute to changes and improvements to City services and amenities.

Please take a few moments to complete some of the surveys currently being collected.
New collections have been added to the digital corporate art gallery. Citizens are now invited to take a virtual tour of the popular Plant Earth Series: Treescapes, Waterscapes and Earthscapes. You can also browse through the latest art installment – SYMBOLIC EXPRESSIONISM | Reflections on Jewish Heritage – recently added to the collection as well. The exhibitions can be viewed on Flickr .
As people get outdoors and visit recently reopened park amenities, the City of Vaughan is reminding pet owners that picking up after dogs is not just the neighbourly thing to do, it’s the law. This is the case on both public or private property. And don’t forget to keep dogs on a leash when enjoying parks, trails and other public spaces. Learn more .
With understanding and some simple precautions, residents can learn to safely coexist with the wild animals who share our backyards. Some tips include:
Be wildlife aware: Know your wildlife neighbours and keep a safe and respectful distance from wild animals.
Do not invite unwanted house guests: Keep your home properly sealed to exclude wildlife.
Be a responsible pet owner: Free-roaming pets are vulnerable to a multitude of dangers.
Do not feed wildlife: Directly or unintentionally feeding a wild animal will increase its tolerance to people and pets.

What to do if a coyote or fox approaches you:
  • Stop: Pick up children and small pets.
  • Stand still: Never run from a coyote or fox.
  • Make yourself big: Wave your hands above your head.
  • Be loud and assertive: Shout, stomp your feet and clap your hands.
  • Slowly back away: Be assertive as you leave, so the animal knows it is not welcome.

Please note it is not legal to move coyotes or other wildlife more than 1 km, as per provincial regulations. For more information or to report a wildlife incident please contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281. F or more information, please visit here .
The Way We Were: Archives Collection of the Month
This image from 1953 depicts Belle Beacon, the first cow to produce more than 1,000 pounds of butter at Don Head Farms. Pictured with Belle from left to right are Art McKeown, superintendent at Don Head Farms; Jim Brenna, secretary of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club; Mr. W. Redelmeier, owner of Don Head Farms; Bartley Bull, president of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club; Cliff Graham, deputy minister of agriculture; and Francis Redelmeier. Don Head Farms was established in 1930 by John D. Patterson on the east half of Lot 21, Concession 2, near the intersection of Bathurst Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. The farm was notable for raising purebred Southdown sheep and Aberdeen cattle, with the introduction of the latter playing a prominent role in the development of the Aberdeen-Angus herd in North America.  

To find out more about the City of Vaughan Archives, visit  Vaughan.ca/archives.
Upcoming Council and Committee Meetings

Electronic-participation Committee and Council meetings continue. While Vaughan City Hall remains closed to the public, citizens are encouraged to participate virtually. Learn more about speaking to Council regarding items on an agenda.

There are currently no meetings scheduled in August.

Updated meeting calendar and information  here
 Live broadcast  available.
Ward 4 Councillor's Office
Contact My Office:
Sandra Yeung Racco
905-832-8585 ext. 8342
Executive Assistant:
Cindy Furfaro-Benning
905-832-8585 ext. 8198